Press Release – 6/2/2016

Garagiste Wine Festival Retakes the LA Stage: July 9th at The Wiltern

Sixty+ of the best of California’s micro-production winemaker discoveries all in one place; popular “Tasting the Winemaker’s Spice Rack” seminar has its LA premiere on The Wiltern stage.

Paso Robles, CA – June 2, 2016 – Garagiste Events Inc., producers of The Garagiste Festivals, announced that the festival is retaking the LA stage at The Wiltern on July 9th with the third annual Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure. Tickets are on sale on at

Over 60+ artisan ‘garagiste*’ winemakers from across California, including Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and SLO counties, Napa and Sonoma counties, and Paso Robles, will pour over 200 wines, with 30% of the wineries participating in our Los Angeles festival for the first time. This year’s Urban Exposure, dubbed “one of wines premier events…fun and exuberant…not to be missed[1],” also presents the LA premiere of one of its signature comparison tasting seminars, “Tasting the Winemaker’s Spice Rack,’ to be held on the stage of The Wiltern.

“From Paso Robles to Santa Ynez to the Bay Area, we have helped thousands of wine lovers discover more than 1,500 cutting edge wines crafted by the most passionate, under-the-radar micro-production winemakers in the state,” said Garagiste Festivals Co-founder Doug Minnick. “We are super-excited to be bringing more than 60 of these winemakers back to LA at this spectacular venue. You’ll have a hard time finding most of these wines anywhere else, and certainly not in any supermarket, but we make it easy. If you like wine at any level, whether you’re a novice or an expert – this event is like Nirvana. The place, not the band.”

Renowned for their ‘crazy thrill of discovery[2],’ one-on-one interactions with winemakers, and fun ‘no-snobs-allowed’ atmosphere, Garagiste Festivals offer wine lovers their only opportunity to taste so many small-production, hard-to-find wines, from so many regions, all in one place – over 60% of Urban Exposure winemakers are without a tasting room and can’t be found on “wine country” maps.

“This year, we have added one of our most popular tasting seminars to the line-up, and it takes place right on the concert stage. You’ll understand the role of oak in wine in an entirely new way. And for those of us who have dreamed of actually being onstage at The Wiltern, we now have our chance!” continued Minnick

In the “Understanding Oak Varieties: Tasting the Winemakers Spice Rack” seminar, Rendarrio Vineyards owner and winemaker Ryan Render, who is also a representative for the famous French tonnellerie, Cadus; and Michael Larner, who is the winemaker and owner of the renowned Larner Vineyard, will use side-by-side comparisons to help wine consumers understand, through their taste buds, how different oak treatments – from type to region to toast – can affect the finished product and change the profile of a single wine. The seminar will be moderated by radio host, winemaker, and Garagiste Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan.

The Garagiste Wine Festivals, which first exposed the American garagiste movement, are among the most unique and influential wine events in the world and are the only wine events that exclusively showcase ultra-premium, cutting-edge, micro-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 (and many under 800) cases a year

The Garagiste Wine Festival: Urban Exposure will take place from 1pm – 6pm on Saturday, July 9th at The Wiltern, which is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the United States. Located at Wilshire and Western (3780 Wilshire Boulevard) Los Angeles, CA., it is easily accessible by the Metro Purple Line train which stops at the Wilshire and Western station.

Among the over 60 winemakers already scheduled to pour are:  Alma Fria Winery, Alma Sol Winery, Archium Cellars, Ascension Cellars, Bevela Wines, Big Tar Wines, Brian Benson Cellars, Brophy Clark Cellars, Burning Bench Cellars, Caldera Cuvee, Caliza Winery, The Central Coast Group Project, Chene Wines, Cholame Vineyards, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Cordon Wines, Coruce Vineyards, Cowan Cellars, Dreamcote Wines, El Lugar Wines, Golden Star Vineyards, Graef Wines, Hoi Polloi Winery, Hoyt Family Vineyards, JP3 Wines, Kaleidos Winery, Larner Vineyards, Marin’s Vineyard, MCV Wines, Mystic Hills Vineyard, On Your Left Wines, Pagter Bros. Winery, Per Cazo Cellars, Powell Mountain Cellars, Prizm Winery, Pulchella Winery, Ranchita Canyon, Rendarrio Vineyards, Ryan Cochrane Wines, Starfield Vineyards, Tercero Wines, The Farm Winery, Tierra y Vino, Tlo Wines, Trail Marker Wine Co., Turiya Wines, TW Fermentation Co., Two Shepherds, Vinemark Cellars, Vines on the Marycrest, Weatherborne, West of Temperance, and Zinke Wine Co.

To preserve an intimate experience for consumers with one-on-one interaction with winemakers, tickets are very limited for the Garagiste Festivals and always sell out. Tickets are available at  For special discounts and updates on Urban Exposure, Taste of Garagiste mini-tastings and other Garagiste Festival events and news, sign up for The Dirt at, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (

Sponsors include:

ETS Laboratories, Digital Dogma, Laffort USA, Travel Paso, Tonnellerie St. Martin, Glenn Burdette. mWebb Communications, Visit SYV.

For sponsorship info, email

 *Garagistes (garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world.  The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011. Since then, the festival has helped thousands of consumers discover the remarkable wines of hundreds of true garagistes, who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make.

About The Garagiste Wine Festivals

The Garagiste Wine Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production winemakers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers. In addition to its flagship annual festival in Paso Robles, CA, the Garagiste Festival line-up includes Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, featuring Santa Ynez Valley garagistes; the Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, in Los Angeles; the Garagiste Festial, Northern Exposure, in the Bay Area; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. The festivals were named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News,* “one of the premier wine events of the year,” by the LA Times and “Best Festival” by Sunset Magazine’s ‘Best of the West.’ The festivals are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

Media Contacts:

mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festivals
Melanie Webber, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 424-603-4340
Crystal Hartwell, crystal(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 714-987-1016

[1] Los Angeles Times

[2] KCET